The Heritage Foundation’s solutions and communications strategies are receiving well-deserved attention this week from, of all places, the media.

Heritage’s Blueprint for Balance, the only comprehensive alternative budget plan from outside Congress, has set the terms for the debate on Capitol Hill. This leads Politico to call us “the right’s most influential think tank“:

The House Budget Committee has delayed consideration of a 2017 fiscal blueprint until March, as the panel’s chairman and House leadership try to craft a resolution that passes the muster of conservatives.

Further complicating Speaker Paul Ryan’s effort, the Heritage Foundation — the right’s most influential think-tank — unveiled a budget blueprint that goes far, far beyond anything Ryan is proposing when it comes to slashing government spending.

Heritage’s Blueprint would cut taxes by $1.3 trillion over the next decade, reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion, and begin to bring down federal debt, all while boosting the Pentagon’s budget.

“The point of the blueprint is both to educate the public but also to influence Congress and the presidential candidates,” Heritage’s Paul Winfree says.

Do you think Congress can do more to rein in the size and scope of the federal government?

Comments (77)

Loyd Prior - March 3, 2016

Yes, there are a lot of agencies that are in Washington that belong in the states where they can be operated much more efficiently.

Robert McWain - March 3, 2016

Just stop spending money we don’t have have.

Jean counts - March 3, 2016

More than what they haven’t done??

Retta - March 3, 2016

They absolutely can if they would just have the willpower to do so.

Peggy Van Well-Hanson - March 3, 2016

Quit sending money to countries that do not like us. Make the welfare people work for their money, like the WPA of the 30ties.

WilliamJ. Parker - March 3, 2016

Absolutely congress can a lot more to reduce the deficit and lower spending. However, there will b no Democrat support and the weak kneed -lying Republicans will not force the needed action.

Keith PE - March 3, 2016

You can also consider CAGW ideas.

Keith PE - March 3, 2016

I forgot GMU, Metcatus Center’s goodwork!
Please check them out also.

Carole Anzivino - March 3, 2016

Absolutely they can. Very difficult to understand why they continue in the path they are on. I have been a loyal conservative all my life but I am beginning to think the party I have been so loyal to is no longer exists

Ed Nelson - March 3, 2016

Yes, Congress can/should attempt to reduce spending by 5 to 10 % in categories in general spending and also revise somehow the mandated spending and also revise over a time period soc. sec. — make sure/certain the public’s aware that is not a cut, but a revision.

Virginia Reaves - March 3, 2016

When it comes to spending or running the government the Republicans are either dumb as a box of rocks or in bed with the Democrats

AM Newcomer - March 3, 2016

Yes, turn over everything to the states except for national defense. Let states handle their own, for everything! That would totally change the country for the better and money that has “disappeared” and/or been misspent will suddenly, magically not happen anymore. Hmmmm…wonder why. People can control their states much better than trying to control a corrupt federal government.

Brad Nyberg - March 3, 2016

They can but they won’t. Th idea that some waste can’t be cut is ludicrous, and there is a lot of waste and duplication of programs.

Dennis Brady - March 3, 2016

Yes by getting rid of the dead weight. That is cut the unnecessary government programs and no more money to foreign Countries that hate us. Take care of Americans and seniors first.

William Koontz - March 3, 2016

“Do you think Congress can do more to rein in the size and scope of the federal government?”

No! Because every blasted one of them is totally addicted to spending our money as fast as possible! There are so, so many wonderful things, for the money addicted Senators and Representatives in Washington, to spend our tax dollars on, that they could double, triple, and even quadruple our taxes and it still wouldn’t be enough to satisfy our greedy politicians!

Could the average, honest citizen “rein in the size and scope of the federal government”? You bet that we could! There are plenty of idiotic things that they spend our money that we could get rid of! Just sayin’.

Linda G. White - March 3, 2016

Yes, I think Congress should do more to curb spending, not be lead down increases by either Paul Ryan or the President. The people have been asking for this reversal for years. It is past time, let’s do this!

Ralph Anderson - March 3, 2016

Of course Congress can do more but they won’t. Ryan is laying out a budget that the Republican congress would pass. There are not enough conservatives among them to pass a budget like Heritages. Perhaps with regular order they will be able to bring this under control. If we get a conservative, constitutional President and maintain control of the House and Senate, maybe, just maybe it can happen. This is our last chance and I pray we don’t blow it!

Ron Mazzucchi - March 3, 2016

I firmly do believe congress can rein in the SIZE AND SCOPE of government !!!!!!!!! If congress would get rid of even half of there DAMN GREED, this once…ONCE GREAT country would be a country filled with hopeful citizens once again !!!!!!!!! It would also be a country many other countries would look up to again !!!!!!!!! Greed and selfishness are two things we need to work on. Selfishness being what most of us have. I wonder how many in congress are in it for what they can get and are not for MORAL AMERICA !!!!!!!!!

Jos Nickels - March 3, 2016

We have to start now to slow spendimg
if we are to survive as a nation

Lee Massey - March 3, 2016

It is possible to cut spending by reducing spending for non-essential programs that lead to fiscal irresponsibility.

Ronald De Fields - March 3, 2016

There is always a lot of talk, especially in election years, about eliminating “fraud and waste”, but little seems to get done after the voting is done. I get so disgusted with politicians refusing to cut unneeded programs if it affects their district. Medicare should be negotiating the cost of its prescriptions with pharmacies instead of congress protecting their high costs. etc. etc.

Before we have wide tax cuts, I think we need to apply any excess to eliminating our disgraceful nation debt. What a terrible example to young people that our political professionals will not take meaningful steps to eliminate our debt.

I do support Heritage’s budget efforts to rein in ever escalating government costs. Too many new programs when hardly any seem to be “sun-setted” when they outlive their usefulness.

Ronald De Fields - March 3, 2016

Yes, but is there the political will?

Alene Lindstrand - March 3, 2016

I love what is proposed because it CAN work. Getting rid of so much that is pure fluff and wastefulness is a breath of fresh air. Common sense is a good thing.

John - March 3, 2016

Does data exist that demonstrates reining in the size and scope of the federal government truly benefits the American people? If so, Heritage should publish it.

The expanded freedom platitude will not hack it.

Harlan Abernethy - March 3, 2016

Congress can do more if they will get back to their JOB’s and stay away from the White House.

Kermit Nabors - March 3, 2016

Please reign in the spending and protect our country. Seems like the Heritage Foundation has a good plan. Just based on what I can see. I and you need to dig deeper into the numbers though.

William Richbourg - March 3, 2016

Do you really think Congress will go along with this plan? I simply can’t believe that Congress will really cut spending by $10
Billion although we all know that this has to be done and could be done easily

Nancy - March 3, 2016

of course they can. Begin by scrutinizing supply contracts, cut out the pork in the various bills, and stop handing out money to our enemies, slim down the EPA and Homeland Security spending budgets and studies by universities that are useless and do not help mankind in a way to live a better life, fight disease, or have a viable effect on the environment.

Larry Parker - March 3, 2016

Congress, by its reckless spending, has proven incontrovertibly that they cannot be trusted with our hard earned tax money! My message to Paul Ryan and the House Budget Committee is this: adopt the Heritage Foundation’s Recommended Budgetary formula or face recall!

Pat patterson - March 3, 2016

The size, scope and power of the federal government must be reduced to preserve American’s future and freedom.

Charles - March 3, 2016

If our nation is to survive, we must take some drastic steps to cut unnecessary
spending and replacing the current tax system.

Peggy Mason - March 3, 2016

All Congress wants to cut is Social Security and Medicare. They could stop giving themselves raises and help those of us who living below poverty level. I worked 50+ years for the paltry amount I draw. My mortgage takes over half of what I receive. They tie our COLA increases to gas prices, yet ignore rising food, clothing and other needs costs.

Marie Stein - March 3, 2016

The Republican majority in congress has, so far, made no progress toward a balanced budget, solving the immigration crisis, fixing the tax system, reining in the “too big to fail” financial institutions or overhauling regulatory agencies to make conditions better for business. I would give them a grade of F.

Don - March 4, 2016

Not without term limits!!

Don - March 4, 2016

Not without term limits!!

Peter Marks - March 4, 2016

Congress needs to attack federal spending with a meet ax — and the targets must include social security and medicare, both of which would be much more successful if people owned — and funded — their own accounts.

Evelyn F. Wiegert - March 4, 2016

Someone should finally audit every government department, program and agency and totally clean out the expensive dead wood including employees and furniture Complete the sale of buildings and land. All bills enacted into law must be clean, one subject and simple.

Melanie Mancill - March 4, 2016

Yes! They definitely can, but they won’t.

Dorothy Mortensen - March 4, 2016

If Heritage has worked this out then it is possible the “powers” that be in the House should be able to come up with the same formula and leave out pleasing the tyrrant in the White House.

Susan Pitzer - March 4, 2016

Absolutely. Our government is riddled with redundantcies and wasteful spending in every department. When I worked in Customer Service for the phone company. I took the efficency report three to four times per day. After three weeks and having done this process 3xs in 3yrs, we lost at least six representatives out of 40 per floor. They were not taking calls wjen they were scheduled, not at their desk, etc. Knowing how often the government creates new department divisions, I have no doubt there are way too many employees sucking off our tax dollars. No one should be getting bonuses on their jobs paid by our Tax Dollars. No One! Especially IRS EMPLOYEES!! Bonuses create corruption!

Bill Zehner - March 4, 2016

Perhaps Congress should cap gross federal revenues at 17.5% of GDP. This would rein in the size of government two ways. First, it would limit what the Congress can spend as income will be limited. Next, it will limit what Congress can borrow as creditors will refuse to purchase federal debt that they cannot be repaid.

Dave hill - March 4, 2016

Defence spending can be cut more. We need to protect the us . Not the world.

Dave Yoder - March 4, 2016

Yes, I thought they were going to stop earmarks? How about workfare not welfare? Obviously, get rid of the current administration & ensure the next is not progressive.

Gerald A. Pilley - March 4, 2016

If we get the right people and get rid of the comfortable cushy positions the old guard loves so well.

Bob Wilks - March 4, 2016

When an overnight delivery man tells you he has been really busy delivering
“FREE cell phones” so the recipients can make their drug deals – well it brings up great concerns about the wisdom of our governments use of tax dollars.

Don Kothmann - March 4, 2016

I’m a positive thinker until it comes to the federal government. The vast majority are a joke. They are in for one reason and only one reason . Power and money! Do I think the majority will do as you have suggested ? WHEN PIGS FLY AND HELL FREEZES OVER!!

T Anderson - March 4, 2016

YES! If they don’t, the people will rein in Congress. Millionaires and Billionaires (most of Congress) are clueless to the degree of anger and disdain voters have for them. It’s long overdue for term limits so our representatives actually have to work and live under the rules and regulations they have passed.

Bonnie Thomas - March 4, 2016

We need to stop some of the “give away programs.”
Get those that are able to work off of Social Security.
Every day I see loads of groceries loaded into
the most expensive vehicles on the market.
Welfare is suppose to be for the elderly and

Kenneth G. Marx - March 4, 2016

Congress can and must rein in the scope and size of the federal government. But Democrat’s don’t want it to and Republican’s seem willing to go along to get along. Out here in flyover country, we are frustrated.

Timothy R. Buttner - March 4, 2016

Of course Congress CAN; the question is why would they? They’ve stampeded and the voters seem to have lost control of the herd…

Ben Coleman - March 4, 2016

SSI & Medicare is out of bounds pork alone will amount to billions ,illegals benefits include lawyers, housing ,food , medical and SSI . more than what citizens are entitled to but pay for …

Mary Craddock - March 4, 2016

There are many ways for government to cut the budget. Term limits would stop these people from making government their life instead of a temporary job. No lifetime benefits. Two terms and then get a job. Many agencies in the government could be eliminated as they duplicate others. Programs that make them spend in order to get the same amount or more for the following year. This creates unnecessary spending. Lots of programs could be given back to the states where they belong. Stop giving money to people/groups for projects that don’t make sense to the majority of the people. I could go on and on. The government is out of control.

Dorothy Snyder - March 4, 2016

I wish congress would listen once in a while but they think they are the only one’s with all the answers and most of time they are wrong . They are just looking for more power. They are not thinking of the people they are suppose to be representing which is not he proper of acting. I would like to fire them all and start fresh.

velma steele - March 4, 2016

Yes Congress can do more to rein in on the federal government by reining in on career politicians in Washington and bureaucrats who are only in office for their own interest. I say the constituents that elected the politicians to represent them in Congress speaking of Republicans should work to stop wasteful spending instead work to balance the budget and adhere to Republican principles of limited government.

Richard Stone - March 4, 2016

Of course they could do more to cut spending, the question is would they. It’s way to easy to spend other peoples money. Need term limits and any raises should be performance based.

Loretta - March 4, 2016

If Congress does not start to stand against
the Democrats spending habits, we are going to lose both congressmen and senators in the upcoming election.

Phil Loudermilk - March 4, 2016

Yes, just stop spending money we don’t have have and making debt someone has to pay plus it is not healthy for the economy in the long run, I know I am not a smart man but I am smart enough to know spending and accumulating debt is not smart.

Robert Broadhead - March 4, 2016

The Federal budget is no different from a family budget in correct accounting terms. If you continue to spend more than you take in, you go broke. 10% across the board. There is still plenty of wasteful programs, and bloated budgets to trim.

BETTY MUNSON - March 4, 2016

Yes. And they better do it.
The person who gives booze to an alcoholic, or gives candy to a diabetic, is neither kind nor charitable. The alcoholic or the diabetic is not made healthier or happier. And we all know the tantrums that spoiled children can throw when they are not given what they want.

But Congress has the power to do the right thing, the power to make the spoiled children healthier and happier. Not giving in to the spoiled children is how its done. They may scream, I hate you, but they soon learn it’s better to be healthy and happy.

Marching in the streets, interrupting speech you do not agree with, threatening boycotts and violence…these are the equivalent of throwing yourself onto the floor in the supermarket, screaming and kicking your heels…wiser heads do not give in to these tactics.

Mary Wilkinson - March 4, 2016

Balanced budget a must! The people have lost faith with their government. No accountability. What a shame that we see our great nation being destroyed from within. Thanks for your efforts.

Larry Andrews - March 4, 2016

Let States control Education and Environmental Protection. Reduce size of IRS. Stop the pork barrel projects and let the congress argue over real issues so they will stand up to some scrutiny.

Donna Nelson - March 4, 2016

Cut out all duplicate agencies, stop all high end expenses for necessary only conferences (nothing but average hotel rooms, no expensive banquets, no free entertainment for personal fun), most of them can be held over the internet.

Donald McGovern - March 4, 2016

Of course Congress can reduce the budget by wasteful spending, but Congressmen always want to bring home the gravy.

Bill Coates - March 4, 2016

Can they? Yes. Will They? No, until virtually all the current members – and their staffs – are no longer in Washington. The corrupting effects of power require that term limits be imposed, and since the voters have been dumbed down by biased and selective news media coverage, the only hope is that the Convention of States movement succeeds.

cal lorenz - March 5, 2016

The way the republicans are acting; they will give hillary a free ride to the white house.they must stop the hi school stuff n act like statesmen.

Lee Shepard - March 5, 2016

Congress should work to balance the budget.

John Howell - March 5, 2016

Reducing Spending is a great idea. Limiting spending to only expenditures authorized in the Constitution would accelerate surpluses.

Don L - March 6, 2016

Congress is a disgrace! They have majorities in both Houses and still do nothing to reduce cost. Instead give Obama everything he wants. The current Republican Party is little different from Democrats. Heritage plan is the way to go. Reduce the budget while increasing military spending. It wouldn’t happen. Congress is bought by special interests who want their pork.

Tom - March 6, 2016

Congress needs to start eliminating departments we don’t need. For example the Dept of Education was established in 1980 and needs to go away and any Fed money to the states for education needs to be in block grants.

Mary Santomauro - March 6, 2016

They can if they WILL TO DO SO!!!!!!

donna smith - March 6, 2016


Don Kirchoff - March 7, 2016

Yes, of course Congress can and must do more to reign in the size and scope of government. Reduce waste, fraud & abuse; eliminate duplication; close ineffective agencies and departments; roll back regulations; defund the President’s overreach programs; get out of the way of free enterprise, etc.

bunny huinter - March 7, 2016

you bet your bippe that Congress can do more. Trump or someone like him needs to be Pres. and kick some butts into gear.

Phil - March 14, 2016

Politicians should not get any benefits or salary until they can actually shrink and ultimately balance the Federal budget. This would be a great incentive for them all to get it done!

Jo Ann Wiblin - March 15, 2016

How can we elect you folks?!

Diane Woodard - March 17, 2016

Yes congress must cut the “fat” out of the budget. All the responders prior to mine have valid suggestions. How may we obtain a copy of your “blue print”. There are too many pages for me to print it all. With your
sensible and conservative suggestions we can call and write letters to congress giving specific suggestions, Thank you!

Ronald Beougher - March 22, 2016

Congress is delinquent, spending without respect to their oath of office or the people they represent. The omnibus bill was the last straw for the current house speaker. It is treasonous.

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